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Brighter future for Yarmouth bridge

PUBLISHED: 14:29 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:44 03 July 2010

MAKEOVER: Vauxhall Bridge

MAKEOVER: Vauxhall Bridge

Dominic Bareham

A LONG awaited makeover for a dilapidated Great Yarmouth bridge could be on the table.

For years, borough councillors have been calling for improvements to the rusting Vauxhall Bridge near the town's railway station, describing the structure as an "eyesore" and fearing it created a bad first impression for tourists who have to cross it to get to the town centre.

A LONG awaited makeover for a dilapidated Great Yarmouth bridge could be on the table.

For years, borough councillors have been calling for improvements to the rusting Vauxhall Bridge near the town's railway station, describing the structure as an “eyesore” and fearing it created a bad first impression for tourists who have to cross it to get to the town centre.

The bridge had the ignomy of featuring on the Grotbritain website for “dirty places around the UK.”

Now a Norfolk County Council working party is being set up to seek funding for a feasibility study looking into what can be done to improve transport and cycling routes in the area - which will include the bridge.

Councillor Mick Castle welcomed the news and said: “I would like to see it replaced or refurbished as it is an eyesore.”

He added the borough council had received between £300,000 and £400,000 of lottery money for projects to improve the Runham Vauxhall area and hoped some of the cash could go towards the bridge.

David Wardale, project engineer in design at the county council, said funding for the study would be sought at the next meeting of the county council's area committee at the Town Hall on May 11.

If this is secured, the working party will be established to conduct the feasibility study which will produce a number of options for the county council to seek funding for.

Mr Wardale said the study was looking into improving the general transport situation in that area, including the bridge, which is a cycleway owned by sustainable transport charity, Sustrans.

He added the study could look at providing a bus stop at the railway station, which it does not have at present.

Consultations will be carried out with 1st East, the regeneration company for Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and Network Rail which owns land neighbouring the bridge.

In January last year, Sustrans received £50m lottery funding for projects across the country, but did not spend any of the money on the Grade II listed bridge as it was intended for new schemes rather than repairing existing structures.

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